SCB, AIS shares jump over online lending JV

Shares in Thailand's third largest lender, Siam Commercial Bank Plc (SCB) jumped in morning trading on Wednesday, following its announcement of a joint venture with the country's top mobile network, Advanced Info Service Plc (AIS).

SCB and AIS late on Tuesday announced the creation of AISCB, to provide online lending via online platforms.

The announcement sent SCB’s shares up nearly 5% when markets opened. AIS shares rose nearly 3% against a benchmark index gain of 0.1%.

“The joint venture will create financial products meeting wide-ranging demand with digital technology as the key driver,” they said in a statement.

Analysts were positive on the partnership.

“This is the only digital lending proposition that has a chance of success in the long term,” said Maria Lapiz, head of institutional research at Maybank Kim Eng, citing the telco’s user base and infrastructure.

AIS, which has 43 million mobile subscribers in Thailand, will hold equal shares in the venture.

The bank could use insight from AIS’s customer behaviour to support the underwriting process, said Finansia Syrus analyst, Yuvanart Suwanumphai.

SCB chief executive Arthid Nanthawithaya was scheduled to hold a news conference later on Wednesday.

Rival lender Kasikornbank Plc began a digital lending push with Japanese mobile chat app operator Line Corp and launched services last year.

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